6 days in Sicily-09/24 - 09/29/2017

Day 4-Duomo square (Piazza Duomo), Syracuse-09/27/2017

Breakfast Roman Theater/Catania Food market/Apollo Temple Duomo Square Archaeological Park Greek & Roman Theater


The beautiful Duomo Piazza (cathedral square) located in the center of the old town of Syracuse is breathtaking!

The bright and charming square slightly concave in front of the cathedral of Syracuse is surrounded by attractive Baroque palaces such as the notably Palazzo Senatorio, but also Palazzo Beneventano del Bosco.

They were all built in the 17th or 18th Century and stand in perfect harmony with the cathedral and the cathedral square.

Apparently in the evening when the square is lit, it makes for a stunning scene but unfortunately we were here only in the day time.
On the left, in the back you can see a smaller church: the Chiesa di Santa Lucia all Badia
, home to Caravaggio's arresting masterpiece, Il seppellimento di Santa Lucia (Burial of St Lucy), painted in Syracuse between 1608 and 1609.

To the north of the Duomo, over Via Minerva, Palazzo Municipale (or Palazzo Senatoriale) is home to Syracuse city council. Built in 1629 by the Spaniard Juan Vermexio, it is nicknamed 'Il Lucertolone' (the Lizard) after the architect's signature which is a small lizard carved into a stone on the left corner of the cornice. .

The entrance of the Palazzo Municipale.


Over the square, in the northwestern corner, is the Palazzo Beneventano del Bosco, which sports a pretty 18th-century facade.

Further down there are lots of cafes, restaurants along the square with tables on the square so people can eat and enjoying the surrounding.


Here is the main attraction of the square the Cathedral of Syracuse.

Originally a Greek temple dedicated to Athena, it later became a Christian church when Sicily was briefly part of the Byzantine Empire, and was then enlarged by the Normans.

The cathedral sits on what was once Syracuse's ancient acropolis (fortified citadel). Little remains of the original Greek building but if you look along the side of the Duomo, you'll see a number of thick Doric columns incorporated into the cathedral's structure.

The upper part of the Cathedral with a Sicilian-Baroque style with magnificent details.

The entrance of the Cathedral.

The facade was rebuilt from 1725-1753 bt Andrea Palma.


On each side of the cathedral stand 2 majestic marble statues.

On the left is the statue of St. Peter and St. Paul to the right.

Tickets to get in 2 euros!

We are now entering the left aisle of the church.

 Inside you can still see part of the Greek Temple of Athena, with the original Doric columns from the 5th century.


On the left is a marble statue of Santa Caterina D'Alessandria from the 16th century

In the center is a Doric column from the 5th century

and on the far right is a marble statue of Madonna and child also from the 16th century


The Main Nave is a 17th century Baroque style by Giovanni Vermexio.


In the center is the main altar with a painting from the 17th century depicting a nativity of the Virgin Mary.


The nave is where the original cella which is the inner area of an ancient temple, especially one housing the hidden cult image in a Greek or Roman temple.


Continuing on both sides of the nave there is this Latin inscription, indicating that the church is the oldest Christian church in Europe: "Ecclesia syracusana prima divi Petri filia, et prima post Antiochenam Cristo dicata."

Translated to: Syracuse is in the  Church of St. Peter's daughter, the first of the Antioch dedicated to Christ."



Stained glasses on the right depicting the Last supper.

Oldest apse located at the end of north aisle

Floor details

Close look at one of the Doric column


View from the main altar looking at the south entrance.

Two gigantic columns from the original opisthodomos (back room) of the cella are flanking the entrance door.

This is the Madonna della Neve chapel (our Lady of Snow Chapel)

On the right is t6th-11th century Byzantine-Norman apse


Marble statue of Madonna della Neve (our Lady of Snow) from the 16th century sculpted by Antonello Gagini.


Tomb of Monsignor Jacob Carabelli


This the chapel of the Crucifix with a confession pew on the left, a center nave with a large painting of St. Marciano from the 13th century.


Underneath the painting is a display of St. Lucia's bone (close up below).

Floor details close up.

 The display above is said to be St. Lucia's bones.

Lucia of Syracuse (283304), also known as Saint Lucy or Saint Lucia was a Christian martyr who died during the Diocletian Persecution She is one of eight women who, along with the Blessed Virgin Mary, are commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass.


The next chapel, Cappella di S. Lucia is dedicated to her in the Cathedral, with her picture above the altar. 

Her feast day, known as Saint Lucy's Day, is celebrated in the West on 13 December. St. Lucia of Syracuse was honored in the Middle Ages and remained a well-known saint in early modern England.


Painted ceiling in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.


Baroque Altar in the chapel of Sacrament



On our way out, more originals Doric columns from the Greek Temple of Athena that are now inside the Cathedral, about nine meters high (30 feet) and two meters in diameter (2.5 feet).



Iron gate in between the Doric columns.


Next...Day 4-Neapolis Archaeological Park




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